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Love Affair

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Love Affair

Published 1939

Directed by Leo McCarey, this 1939 romantic classic is the first and best version of the old warhorse of a fateful shipboard romance between an aimless playboy and a nightclub singer, both engaged but appearing to be destined to reunite on the top floor of the Empire State Building.
The elaborate, shot-for-shot 1957 remake again directed by McCarey with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is much better known, and Warren Beatty even saw fit to remake it yet again with his wife Annette Bening for a 1994 update featuring an 87-year old Katharine Hepburn in her last film role.

Run time 87 min.
Producer Leo McCarey
Production Company RKO Radio Pictures
Audio/Visual sound, black & white
Contact Information


Reviewer: ALAN VANDE KOP - favoritefavorite - August 13, 2016
Subject: Two Worlds
Not being into melodrama, I've never had a desire to see "An Affair To Remember" & my familiarity was limited to its homage in ""Sleepless In Seattle". Its been awhile, but ironically on my own last sleepless night in Leon, Iowa I decided to listen in the dark to some old radio dramas by the Screen Guild Theater from the 1940's. My spider sense should have been tingling venturing into the third randomly selected broadcast in a row that involved cruises to or from Rio, but found myself listening to an adaption of 1939's "Love Affair" & becoming increasingly obsessing on the idea that a disabled woman should choose to hide herself away, that it was somehow noble to let someone she loved think she'd disappeared rather than burden him with something apparently considered to be a darker fate. All is well with the mandatory happy ending where she says, "If you can paint, I can walk.", his own odyssey during their separation involving this mastery. Perhaps this was an obvious equation in 1941, but its lost on me. I'd like to think this was a reflection of an era when in Germany a few years earlier the disabled were the first to be euthanized & those unable to work were later earned their own insignia equivalent to the yellow star in their death camps, yet Meg Ryan equally cherishes this nobility of self-negation in 1993 as well. Is disability then some metaphor for feelings of worthlessness? Let me know if I missed the point.
Reviewer: ohsnapiam56 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - February 1, 2012
Subject: A Surprisingly Touching Film
Hopefully this will not post more than once...I was trying to edit my comment! This was a great film and I was pleasantly surprised by Charles Boyer. Both he and Irene Dunne were excellent. Their chemistry was spot on and believable. The dialogue was snappy. My only beef is the final line of the movie..kinda dumb. The remake was "An Affair to Remember' with Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant, which was a much inferior film chemistry between the stars. But this one is a keeper. This is also on this site as an MP3 under Lux Radio Theater or Screen Director's Playhouse, with Irene Dunne.
Reviewer: Dark Moon - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 18, 2011
Subject: Something positive

So many films and novels focus on the darkest aspects of human nature that it is refreshingly different to see something like this. Nothing "Pollyanna" that puts the viewer at risk for getting cavities, this is reasonably credible, and very human.

Charles Boyer plays the stereotypical womanizing playboy Frenchman, until he gets hooked and things turn serious. Irene Dunne gets all the best lines, with things like:
"My mother told me never to enter a man's room in any month ending in 'r'."
"Have you been getting results with a line like that, or would I be surprised?"
"You can just imagine how attractive he is when I can resist so charming a person as you."
"Instead of Mother Goose, you were probably brought up on the memoirs of Casanova. You've heard of the little fellow, haven't you?"
"I imagine you've known quite a few women, haven't you? Or maybe 'few' is the wrong word. And I gather you haven't very much respect for them."
The one I liked best was when some snoopy gossip was trying to listen in unobtrusively on her conversation...
"Parlez vous igpay atinlay?" :D

Things change when the ship stops at Madeira, Charles goes to visit his grandmother, and Irene is invited along. In one of the highpoints of the film (IMO), Irene discovers that, under the playboy exterior, there lives a real human being with some unexpected fine qualities. She becomes seriously interested, and things proceed from there.

I haven't seen the remakes so I have nothing to compare, but I enjoyed this film very much. The print quality (video and audio both) are better than many other films here on IA, and the encoding is clean, with no pixelation or artifacts.
Reviewer: UID0101 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - November 8, 2009
Subject: Love Affair (1939) - the original, the best.
Leo McCarey's 1939 film, Love Affair, is a love story of rare beauty starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer. Most prints of this film are mediocre, but it would be a delight to see it restored to its original debut as viewed in theatres in 1939. A memorable romance classic, enjoy!
Reviewer: keygrip - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - August 30, 2009
Subject: just as good
The film stands up well to the glossier version made some 20 years later.
The casting was good although it is a testament to the ageless Cary Grant that he could probably have starred in both versions.
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